UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Ingrid Blood, professor of communication sciences and disorders (CSD) at Penn State, has been recognized by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Political Action (ASHA) Committee for her advocacy on the Telehealth Bill.
ASHA's Federal and Political Affairs department organizes meetings with members of Congress and their staffs for special interest groups and committee members visiting the national office while they are in the greater Washington, D.C., area. The purpose is for ASHA members to lobby on behalf of ASHA's legislative priorities and to build relationships with those offices. Blood, who visited in June, advocated for Medicare coverage of telehealth services provided by audiologists and speech-language pathologists.
Recently, Reps. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) and Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) introduced the Medicare Telehealth Parity Act of 2014 (H.R. 5380) which would allow audiologists and speech-language pathologists to get reimbursed by Medicare for providing telehealth services to beneficiaries. ASHA staff was informed by Congressional staff that Blood's advocacy on the subject is why the piece was added to the legislation.
This is the first time audiologists and speech-language pathologists have been included in legislation that would allow them to be reimbursed by Medicare for providing care via telehealth technologies.
Blood’s research interests include pediatric audiology, genetics of hearing loss, early hearing detection and intervention, psycho-social aspects of communication sciences and disorders, auditory dysfunction in children and adults who stutter, and curriculum reform in undergraduate education. She has collaborated on such projects as Educating Physicians In their Communities Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EPIC-EHDI), an outreach project designed to educate the medical community on Pennsylvania's Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention program; and Project MOSAIC (Multiplying Opportunities for Services and Access for Immigrant Children). She earned her doctorate from Bowling Green State University in 1978.